Sunday, April 27, 2008

What's Growing

Back when I was really into gardening, I'd take a tour of my garden everyday, to see what's blooming, what needs pruning and weeding, etc. My big passions were roses and bearded irises. I would spend hours online and buying books about roses, researching which ones to buy and where to plant, the way I do with knitting nowadays.
The other day I noticed that the rose on the mailbox was blooming, so I thought I'd do a little tour and post about it.
So starting at the mailbox, here is Reines des Violettes, the Queen of Violets, the first rose to bloom this year. In the background is the neighbor's house across the street and the red azaleas in her yard.The Reines de Violettes are fragrant, and fragile. If you try to cut off a bloom to bring into the house, it shatters. All the petals fall off. Not good for bouquets.

At the foot of the Reines de Violettes are these Dutch irises. In the background is a bare spot where an azalea used to be.

As we walk down the driveway, towards the house, we pass Henry Nevard, whose big red blooms should open in just a few days:

Henry's a big sprawling mess that I try to stake up, but he just won't behave. I'll have to truss him up against the chain link fence so when mowing around him won't put us at risk of having thorny canes smacking us.
Across the driveway from Henry are these white azaleas. I can't remember if they came with the house or if we bought them. Anyway, I love the white azaleas.

The beds in front of the house used to be thickly overgrown with spikey holly bushes and azaleas. Last year we cut them all pretty much down to 12 inches and they're just begining to grow back. Boy is it ugly, so no pictures.

Here's an example: the last of the tulips by the front door. The blooms have so many petals they look like peonies. They make great cutting flowers,

but not so pretty when left unattended.

At the end of the row in front are these red dianthus. The other stuff are weeds. I should really get out here and weed, but not today.
That's about it for the front yard.

The carport opens to the back of the house and connects to the patio. This is a view looking back at the patio. On the right is the last of the camellias, in pink. Camellias are pretty, but no fragrance. Next to it is the gardenia which will bloom in summer, perfuming the air. And to the left is a Japanese maple outgrowing its space.

In the background is the patio set where we have breakfast and read the paper on weekends, and eat dinner whenever the weather is nice.

Turning back around and heading toward the side garden, I pass a crape myrtle underplanted with irises and lilies of the valley. The purple iris is the first bearded iris of the year. In the background is grass and then ivy. The majority of the backyard is covered in ivy, so there's very little to mow. Thankfully.
And here's the side yard. This bed used to be a vegetable garden. But last year when we started renovating the front yard, I dug up the plants I wanted to save and put them here. The peony's blooming too. That's a surprise because I read that peonies hate being moved and don't always rebloom after being disturbed.

We'll just skip over the weed infested tomato bed and turn to the rose bed. It's up against the chainlink fence and the neighbor's blue pick-up truck is on the other side.

Here's Duchesse de Brabant, one of my favorites. It's just getting ready to bloom. The blooms are perfectly cupped and lightly fragrant but they shatter easily too.

It's a huge plant, about 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Pruning is one of my favorite gardening tasks and luckily roses take well to being trimmed, if done properly.

In the burgundy and white bucket to the left is a rose from the front yard. I think it's Bonica, but once it blooms I'm sure I'll remember.

This one below is Knockout, a very easy to grow rose. No fragrance but pretty cherry-red blooms.

That's it for what's in bloom now. This year I think I'm going to try to take better care of the garden. We're still in a drought so I don't know how much I can do. At least food gardens are exempt from the outdoor watering ban.

Husband and I've been talking about growing tomatoes and I might do some okra too. The only bed we can use we grew tomatoes in last year and we're supposed to rotate beds so the soil doesn't get depleted. But the other beds are holding plants from the front yard, so what to do, what to do...

Maybe nothing. Maybe we'll just wait out this year and see if the drought doesn't break next year.

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